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Working on the script for my first feature, looking for advice.

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posted on Dec, 28 2010 @ 07:48 PM
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Hi everybody on this corner of ATS that I normally don't have time to frequent. I'm currently working on some scripts, one of which I hope to shoot over the course of the summer of 2011. Is there any advice that you could give me?

Some details:

1: This is intended for local release, though I'd look for very limited international release in the future. And by local I mean in the island nation of Malta. Maybe one or two of you is from there? Probably not, we're a small country with few people. About 400,000. I may reject some propositions simply because they just wouldn't fly over here. I'm trying to strike a balance between things that will speak to my people and things that will speak to the world.

2: The film is a romantic comedy, which is why I'd like advice. Mainly because it isn't my shtick, but I'm not going to start off in an overambitious manner. Baby steps. It's primarily about a young woman (mid 20s) struggling with her place in society and being torn between more traditional and more modern elements.

3: The budget is pure indie. Though one independent film I know of from around here (that was complete crap) got a budget of around 40,000 euros, I'm looking for something that's smaller budget. 20,000 euros or less. It's being shot on HDSLR, so it's not going to be as costly. Budgeting isn't too big of a deal, I have most of it covered.

So, ATS moviegoers, what is it that you look for in romantic comedies? What is paramount?




posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
what is it that you look for in romantic comedies? What is paramount?


...karmic revenge totally slays me...


..like a snooty poot walking thru a cafe, thinking he's SO cool - and - totally clueless that a half a roll of toilet paper has been trailing along behind him ever since he left the bathroom...

...a pritzy slipping, tripping (falling forever) and busting her buns good in front of EVERYONE, right after she bragged on how expensive her designer shoes are in front of a poor working girl...



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I'm an independent film maker also; nothing as ambitious as a feature length movie. We're into 7min webisodes and festival shorts. I always team up with a more experienced screenwriter than myself for our projects. The main thing I have learned in writing preproduction is to rewrite, then rewrite again and a fourth time if necessary. Then be prepared to change when shooting to facilitate post/editing.

To make a romantic comedy work, I would think that casting would be of utmost importance; people that could make the characters "sparkle" ....The overall story could be weak but if the characters were endearing it could be a good film. Think "Juno"

My question is...if romantic comedy isn't your "schtick"....why make one?

Anyway good luck, I wish I could be your 2nd AC; Malta sounds great.
edit on 1-1-2011 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


Thanks for the advice, will take that one into account


reply to post by whaaa
 



Originally posted by whaaa
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I'm an independent film maker also; nothing as ambitious as a feature length movie. We're into 7min webisodes and festival shorts. I always team up with a more experienced screenwriter than myself for our projects. The main thing I have learned in writing preproduction is to rewrite, then rewrite again and a fourth time if necessary. Then be prepared to change when shooting to facilitate post/editing.


Well, I can afford to be ambitious over here because....well, the local films are, and I'm not going to exaggerate, monumentally crap. There was a recent film, Maltageddon, which I actually managed to speak to a producer about. It cost them 40,000 euros to make it.

This is what it looks like (and trust me, the trailer is somehow a lot better than the film):


I bothered to watch it at the theater before speaking to the producer, and I asked him bluntly about where the money went. It seems to have gone to...well...a cast of something like 18 featured actors, two of which were DJs and none of which could act. Granted, the script itself was horrid.

And its spiritual successor, Malta Force...I haven't even bothered to watch because of the trailer's low quality. I mean, there's just random action beats and some footage that was clearly designed for the trailer.





To make a romantic comedy work, I would think that casting would be of utmost importance; people that could make the characters "sparkle" ....The overall story could be weak but if the characters were endearing it could be a good film.


I'm focusing a lot on that. I'm even going to do something unusual for Maltese cinema, an actual open casting call (which is going to be a nightmare but great for publicity). I'm trying to get people that have the charisma to carry the role (particularly the female lead) who can also take direction. I mean, you should understand how big some egos are in entertainment...imagine how big they are on a tiny island where nobody with much talent stays around.




Think "Juno"


Ah, good suggestion! I've been meaning to see that. Imma go and rent that.



My question is...if romantic comedy isn't your "schtick"....why make one?


Well, it's cheap, marketable, and I enjoy watching them. I mean, i have more of a mind for broader films with darker tones, wilder realities, etc and I've even been working on an epic for about four years, but a romantic comedy is grounded, has more resonance in society, and will challenge me to a narrow focus story.

I mean, I love the genre, as horrible as it can get, but I'm a nerd at heart. I mean, I have about 8 feet of shelf space devoted to comic books, sci-fi, and fantasy, but I don't have the resources for that stuff yet, and I'd prefer to wet my feet in this genre. Then I'm going to move on to something in the horror or sci-fi realm or possibly go on to a drama or dramedy (depends on how the other scripts I'm working on turn out).



Anyway good luck, I wish I could be your 2nd AC; Malta sounds great.


It is great in many ways, especially in terms of opportunity. Anyway, thanks for the advice. If you have some technical advice, feel free to share as well. I'm working DSLR for this, mainly because 16mm would be an unreal expenditure.
edit on 1/1/11 by madnessinmysoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


I wish I knew enough about the technical side of filmmaking to offer advise; I don't. However we www.fiveohfive.webs.com... are still using HD Canon and Panasonic AVCHD cameras and if we need great
RAW footage we rent a RED camera, but we are thinking DSLRs too; what is a good one 7D, 5D? We edit with Final Cut pro and use Tascam field recorders for stand alone sound.

I worked on these two as actor and crew.
www.youtube.com...


www.youtube.com...


New Mexico or more affectionately known as "Tamalewood" is an indy film mecca but also very attractive to feature production companies like Sony and Lionsgate, because of our tax incentives, great weather, locations, sound stages, crew and local actors. An exciting time for those of us in the entertainment industry.
Come and shoot your epic here.









edit on 1-1-2011 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by whaaa
 


Ah, I might consider renting a RED (the only one on the island) for my second film, though it's just not a reality for the budget constraints of this first one.

The 7D is good, but it lacks magic lantern firmware support (great opensource firmware) and (like all DSLRs so far) doesn't shoot RAW. It's also great for getting a documentary look in relatively tight spaces with a relatively large depth of field due to sensor size. They actually used it for the subway shots in Black Swan.

The 5D (which is what I'll be using) has magic lantern support, a beautiful full-frame sensor, and (rumor has it) will soon have 2K, 3K, and 4K support....with limited time shooting of course. You can only get 12 minutes of continuous shooting, it also doesn't shoot RAW, and you have to watch your camera movements to reduce rolling shutter issues.

The main advantage with both is the 35mm optics and the comparatively low price.

The other main disadvantages with both are handheld shots and lack of aperture controls on Canon lenses. You might have to buy or build a support rig if you don't already have one for the cameras you use, since it would take quite a bit of effort to maintain a smooth shot without it.


...Anyway, after that wall o' text, I'll just say that I'll look at your work sometime tomorrow, since I'm off to sleep soon (TIME ZONES!).



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:34 PM
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...mad, have you ever seen harold and maude?... its old but still one of my favs because its a cackler even tho it addresses somewhat taboo issues - suicide and a very young person falling in love with someone old enough to be his grandmother - but it was so much more than that...

...anyways, just heard a cat stevens song on the radio and it reminded of the movie - thought i'd share...



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Ok.
Well I have written a couple of feature length scripts so I will try this.
How many scripts have you written before? Do you need advice on the actual script? i.e. plot / character development? or the "getting it on the screen" bit?
edit on 2-1-2011 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



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